49 Percent Rule for net metering
With the new policy that ARESEP and MINAE have put into place for Costa Rica’s net metering, there is a new rule that impacts all the new systems installed called the 49% rule. This rule allows you to receive 49% of your total monthly production credited for your billing, so your auto consumption is also factored in. You will not lose any credit for the production, it will only role over to the next month and be calculated in.
Even with the 49% rule, you will see how much you will save with the net metering policy. Distributed Generation (Solar energy) is the only way to fight against the raising electric rates.
What this rule is for, is somewhat unclear for the future but the impact is great for the short term. This rule requires a 2nd utility meter that we call the Power Meter and that is place between the solar system and the circuit breaker panel. This meter is to show how much production that your system is making and impacts your billing by restricting how much credit that you receive in one month to 49% of your total production. As we will show, in most cases this does not have an impact but there are some exceptions and it depends on your consumption patterns. In most other markets, they do not put a physical meter, they will have advanced features to monitor the production of your system and send the information to the power companies.
How this rule impacts us negatively for the installation is greater and can be more expense depending on the power company. The power meter location must be accessible to the power company so they can read it physically or remotely. In some cases, the house might be 100 meters or more from the property line and cannot be physically read so they will need a remote read power meter, and in some cases depending on the power company they will need to replace both the utility and power meter with 3G meters. If your house is closer to the property line such as 50 meters or less it does make sense to run cabling to the edge of the property for the power meter. Depending on the location of the inverter and circuit breaker box.
Power Company CNFL
December System produced 734.99 kWh
Total Consumption from the grid and self-consumption 946.77 kWh
Exported into the grid 292.15 kWh
Imported from the Grid 503.93
Since the system produced less than the total consumption, not all the energy will be charged at .03 cents. 734.99 kWh *.49% = 360.14 kWh which is more than this system exported. In this case the 49% percent rule does not apply and 292.15kWh will be at .03 cents per kWh and the remaining 211 kWh will be .17 cents per kWh. Estimated bill would be $46.67 plus tax.
If this house did not have solar their bill would be $196.92.
January System produced 1880. kWh
Total Consumption from the grid and self-consumption 1460 kWh
Exported into the grid 1250 kWh
Imported from the Grid 830
Since the system produced more than the total consumption, all the energy will be charged at .03 cents. 1880 kWh *.49% = 921.2 kWh which is less than this system imported from the grid. In this case the 49% percent rule does apply and 830kWh will be at .03 cents per kWh and the remaining 420 kWh that is left over from the export will roll over to next month’s bill. However you also have a balance of 210kWh which will be added to the 420kWh = 630kWh.
Estimated bill would be $24.09 plus tax.
If this house did not have solar their bill would be $308.03. Plus taxes.